If for the Strongsville Schools, is defeated at the polls March 6, cuts will not necessarily go into effect for the 2012-2013 school year.
But school officials will have to start planning $4 million in cuts that would take effect immediately if the issue doesn't pass in August.
"We're talking about things like busing, athletics, curriculum," Treasurer Bill Parkinson said. "We'd be getting into actual core programs."
If voters shoot down Issue 14 next Tuesday, the school district will have one more chance to put it on the ballot -- on Aug. 7 -- before the cuts would be made.
In the meantime, though, officials would have to figure exactly what would be eliminated so they could quickly put the plan in place before the school year starts.
Issue 14 Won't Raise Taxes
The generates about $7.6 million a year, accounting for about 11 percent of the school district's operating budget.
It would not raise taxes and would replace an existing 6-mill levy that expires this year.
A similar issue was voted down in November. That renewal would have run for a continuing period of time; this one would expire after five years.
Superintendent Jeff Lampert said if the district loses that $7.6 million a year, it would likely mean , extracurriculars, gifted programs and other areas.
Parkinson said only $4 million in cuts -- about half the total amount -- would have to take effect at the beginning of the next school year because the district operates on a fiscal year and tax collections are made by calendar year.
Not Out of the Woods
Even if the renewal passes this year, red ink is still looming.
"We're still looking $2 million in cuts by fiscal year 2014," Parkinson said. "Then there's still a deficit in 2015 and 2016."
Voters overwhelmingly rejected a 6.9-mill levy last August, and the district has not asked for new money since then.
Parkinson said residents should not be surprised to see a ballot issue for new revenue on the ballot in the coming years.
"We still have to look for new money," he said. "We're in a deficit situation."